Feb 1

We’ve asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and tell us why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight, this Valentine’s Day.

Each nominee’s story is featured on the Arkive blog with information on the species, what makes them so special, the conservation organisation that nominated them and how they are working to save them from extinction.

Click the ‘unloved species’ tag above to see all of the nominations and their blogs.

Once you have perused the blogs you can vote for your favourite to help get them into the top ten unloved species and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others using the #LoveSpecies hashtag on Twitter and Facebook and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (07:59 GMT).

Join us and our conservation partners in celebrating and raising awareness for some of the world’s most unloved species this Valentine’s Day!

Species: Great white shark

Nominated by: Australian Marine Conservation Society

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Why do you love it? Magnificent. Maligned. Misunderstood. The great white shark has traditionally borne the brunt of negative media attention due to its exaggerated threat to human safety. Fished to near extinction around the world, great white numbers have steadily declined throughout the world’s oceans.

Charismatic, elusive and far ranging creatures, great whites are apex predators at the top of the food chain, crucial in maintaining the balance in marine ecosystems. They are intelligent and powerful creatures, but gravely misunderstood.

What are the threats to the great white shark? The great white faces many threats in Australian waters.  Sadly, the main threats are from humans. Great white sharks are long lived, slow growing and have few babies, making them particularly vulnerable to fishing impacts. Great whites are also a target of cruel and unnecessary shark control programs. In some parts of the world, great whites are fished for their jaws, fins and teeth in the gruesome ‘sport’ of trophy hunting.

What are you doing to save it? AMCS was pivotal in getting great white sharks protected in Australia and we continue to promote them as a species in need of protection.

In the 1990’s, AMCS escalated its campaign as part of the global battle to protect these amazing creatures. Rallying huge public support, the great white shark was protected in all Australian waters and is now listed as a vulnerable and migratory species under Australian environment law.

We drove governments to improve Australia’s leading document on shark conservation and management (the National Plan of Action – Sharks) by including actions that governments around the country had to enact to better protect sharks and ensuring conservation organisations have a say in how sharks are managed and protected.

AMCS created Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, for those who love the oceans and their seafood. Now in print for a decade, the guide is available in paperback, as a dedicated consumer website and smartphone app. The guide encourages consumers to avoid fisheries with bycatch of great whites and other species of conservation concern.

AMCS launched a successful community campaign to ban live shark finning at sea. We continue to work towards a ban in the export and import of shark fins in Australia, to stop our involvement in this terrible trade.

When the Western Australian Government announced the introduction of a shark cull, they were unprepared for the public outcry. Working with conservation partners, AMCS ensured those voices were heard in the corridors of power, and the shark cull was shut down. AMCS continues to campaign on stopping shark control programs in other parts of Australia.

Find out more about the Australian Marine Conservation Society

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